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  • Writer's pictureGarrett Brodey

The Master: One Of My Favorite Films

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

The Master (2012) is one of my favorite films of all time. I would even say it’s one of the greatest films ever made. It’s made by my favorite filmmaker, Paul Thomas Anderson. I think it’s his best work, which is something, since his filmography is perfect in my opinion.

Paul Thomas Anderson is an American filmmaker who’s made 8 phenomenal films. I’ve watched all of his films, and they’re all 10/10’s in my opinion. There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread are very close to being number one but The Master will always be my favorite. I would like to write a piece on PTA sometime soon, but for now I’ll say he’s one of the greatest filmmakers. His style and talent are like no other.

The Master is a strange film. I remember when I first watched it, I thought it was good, but was conflicted. It wasn’t until multiple viewings later that I realized it’s a masterpiece. It’s one of those films that lingers in your head days after watching. There’s so much depth in this film, that if I tried to write about all of it, this would be a very long piece. I’ll just talk about the things I love about this film.

For one, the writing is perfect. I’ve read the script multiple times and it’s something I love to study because it helps enhance my skills for writing scripts. I love the story and how it’s told. I love how PTA writes dialogue and how every character has their own distinct voice. All the characters are unique and well thought out. PTA writes just enough to keep the audience engaged, but not too much to where it’s overindulged. I read up that PTA’s idea for this film was a soldier coming back from WW2. That’s it, and he came up with this? Very impressive. From start to finish, the script never had any missteps or unnecessary scenes. One of the greatest scripts ever written.

The direction by PTA should also be studied. The way he shoots scenes and directs actors is nothing like I’ve ever seen before. I’ll go into more of the performances later in this piece, but the performances that he got out of the actors are unbelievable. This film is perfectly paced, and PTA’s style of direction is present throughout. This is one of the best directed films ever.

Jonny Greenwood’s score is beautiful. I love his work on There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread, but his score for The Master is underrated. The way the score perfectly fits each scene is really impressive. I like how the score is used to sound like the music going on in the character’s mind or just the mood of the scene. I love the score and it helps elevate the film into a whole new level.

The acting in this film is some of the best I’ve ever seen. Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman deliver two of the best performances of all time. I can never decide who’s better. Their characters are unique and well acted, and their chemistry is very believable. Freddie Quill and Lancaster Dodd feel like real characters. They’re two completely different characters, but their connection is almost hypnotic. Whenever they are on screen together, I find myself glued to the screen. Both of them should’ve won Oscars for their performances.

The cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr. is some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen. This film is gorgeous. I think it’s PTA’s best looking film, but Phantom Thread comes close behind. I think every shot looks like a painting. I wish I could’ve seen this on the big screen. Malaimare should’ve won an Oscar for his work on this film.

I could go on and on, but I’ll end this here by saying this is one of my favorite films, and one of the greatest films ever made.

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